Sadiq Khan First Mayor To Lead Trade Mission To Both India And Pakistan

2 December 2017, 14:12

The Mayor of London's focus will be to build new business and trade links with the two countries.

By Vincent McAviney

Sadiq Khan will become the first Mayor of London to lead a trade mission to both India and Pakistan when he travels to six cities in six days across both countries next week.

Mayor Khan will be promoting the capital by meeting with senior politicians, business leaders and city chiefs to strengthen their economic and cultural ties with London. 

LBC’s Senior Reporter Vincent McAviney will be following the Mayor on his mission. Speaking with him before the trip Sadiq said, “It’s really important for me as the Mayor of a global city to be going to both countries. We’ve got huge links with India and Pakistan, trade links, big links in relation to culture, big links in education but here are also many Londoner’s whose country of origin is India, whose country of origin is Pakistan. They want to see their Mayor making good links and contacts with India and Pakistan and hopefully some good business for our city."

The focus of the Mayor’s visit to the subcontinent will be to build new business and trade links in both counties, and make connections across their cultural and creative industries. Sadiq said “I know India and Pakistan fairly well, for cultural reasons - I love Bollywood, sports, I’ve got family in both countries as well.”

The Mayor will visit Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar in India, before heading to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan.

Sadiq’s own family hail from both countries, asked what his relations their thought of him coming back as a British representative he said “They’re really proud that I’m the Mayor of London. They think London’s an amazing place is someone like me can become the Mayor and that’s one of the reasons why this trip is so important.”

Sadiq will press home the main message of his ‘London Is Open’ campaign - that, despite the EU referendum result, London remains the best place in the world to study, do business and visit.  Sadiq will be accompanied by his Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal and representatives from companies that are part of his International Business Programme.

They will accompany the Mayor to Mumbai before they head onto Bengaluru where they will bid to boost their bottom line by partnering with Indian tech experts. Between 2005 and 2016, the UK was the second largest destination for Indian investment and 44 per cent of the fastest growing Indian companies now have a base in London.

In Pakistan the Mayor will meet senior politicians as well key figures from the Pakistani cultural and financial sectors. Bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan is valued at £2.5bn and only two cities in the world provide more investment in Pakistan than London. The Mayor will be accompanied to Pakistan by senior business executives from the capital who are looking for trade deals or investment opportunities.

Watch the interview at the top of this page.